Scottsdale Stadium – Scottsdale Scorpions
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Scorpions in the Fall
Editor’s Note: This review was written by Steve Ohnsman and Meg Minard in tandem.
Scottsdale Stadium opened in 1992 and the Arizona Fall League Scorpions (baseball) have occupied it every October and November.
The Scorpions brought in a lot of national attention in 1994 when Michael Jordan played for the team as he was preparing for the 1995 baseball season. In 2011, the Scorpions featured an outfield that included Mike Trout and Bryce Harper.
In addition to hosting the Scorpions, Scottsdale Stadium is also the host of the Arizona Fall League Championship game each year. During the spring, the MLB San Francisco Giants call the stadium home for Cactus League play, during the summer, the AZL Giants play their games in the stadium
Food & Beverage 2
Just one concession stand is open during a Fall League game (and that’s all that is needed). It offers hot dogs, bratwurst, pizza, and nachos ($5-$6). Snacks include pretzels and peanuts ($4), cracker jacks, seeds, and chips ($3). For drinks, Coca-Cola brand sodas ($4/$5) and bottled water ($3) are available.
A beer stand near the entry gate features 24 ounce “bomber” cans plus $7 wine. A new craft beer stand is located on the concourse behind third base where each beer costs $8. Other bottled and canned beer consists of the basics: Bud, Bud Light, Coors, Michelob and the Scorpions do offer Sierra Nevada.
It’s quite basic. A recommendation, skip the food at the ballpark and head to one of the many restaurants in nearby downtown Scottsdale.
Green fold-down plastic seats are available in rows A – O with a walkway between the seating areas after row G. Nine to ten rows of metal bleachers with backs are available after row O. For Fall League games, it is first come / first served general admission seating. A downfall of Scottsdale Stadium is that it does not offer any cup holders at any of the seating areas.
The bullpens are in left and right field behind the outfield walls.
Before the game, fans can get autographs from players and coaches on both teams. The Scorpions sign autographs along the right field line, with the visiting team hanging out in left field. Above the Scorpion bullpen in right field are banners of the many Hall of Famers that have played for the organization.
The sun shines down the first and third baselines with shade offered behind the home plate area for day games. Pick your preference and/or move around to different seating areas during the game.
Scottsdale Stadium received a much-needed new scoreboard in 2016 which is much easier to read. For Fall League games, it does not show a whole lot of information, basically the AFL logo, pictures of sponsors, the line score with the balls, strikes, and outs, displayed vertical vs the traditional horizontal view.
Scottsdale Stadium sits across the street from the HonorHealth Scottsdale Osborne Medical Center. On occasion, you may hear helicopters traveling to and from the facility while at a game.
A souvenir shop is on the first base concourse and offers minimal merchandise for the Scorpions; t-shirts and hats. Starting lineups and rosters can be purchased for $1 with additional stats available for $3 at this shop.
The ballpark is adjacent to a thriving downtown neighborhood. Within just blocks (walking distance – up to but no longer than a mile) are many areas to eat, drink, shop, and sleep. It is a very safe neighborhood in which to stroll and visit.
Recommended places to eat in downtown Scottsdale are Karsen’s Grill (an exceptional small bar/eatery), Los Olivos Mexican Patio (Mexican and margaritas), and The Mission (modern Latin cuisine). For many other restaurants and bars in the neighborhood; check here for a directory to find others that might suit your tastes.
For places to spend the night, Old Town Scottsdale has many hotels, many within walking distance of Scottsdale Stadium. Both the Courtyard Scottsdale Old Town and the Holiday Inn Express are within a mile of the stadium.
Besides strolling through the downtown area, other things to see and do within walking distance of the stadium are the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.
Scottsdale Scorpions are in the middle of the pack with average attendance records for the Arizona Fall League. As with most AFL games, fans consist of major league scouts, retired folks, and fans of the game of baseball. As the population of the Fall League is growing, you may find fans who travel in to just see the game in its purest form. It is quite easy to strike up a conversation as most fans have baseball in common.
Scottsdale Stadium is located at the corner of Drinkwater Blvd. and Osborn Rd. in downtown Scottsdale. The best streets to take toward this area are Scottsdale Rd or Indian School Rd depending on from which direction you’re traveling. None of the major highways in Phoenix go near the stadium. The Loop 101 Pima Fwy is easily the closest, and it is a few miles to the east of Scottsdale Stadium.
The closest airport is Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (only nine or ten miles from the stadium).
Once at the stadium, you may find the parking lot near the gate and ticket office full. The closest public parking area is the Scottsdale Library Garage, which is located next to the ballpark on Drinkwater Blvd. It’s just a block away. That garage is free and should not fill up for afternoon games.
Since most AFL games draw less than 1,000 people, getting around the ballpark is easy.
Bathrooms are open along both baselines. Handicap seating areas are near the tunnels that take you from the main concourse to the field-view walkway.
Scottsdale offers free trolley service for people looking to get to the downtown area without walking or driving.
Return on Investment 3
I, personally, really enjoy the Arizona Fall League games as it is just about the baseball; not all the other extra entertainment and commercialization that happens during spring training games. Some will disagree with me.
A day or night at a game is affordable: $9 for an adult and $7 for kids (3-17) and seniors (55+), and you can sit anywhere you want. Group tickets for 20 or more are available for just $4 apiece. The AFL sells individual season passes ($75 for seniors, $85 for adults) and a family pass (for up to six people, $125). That means you can go to as many games as you’d like.
Parking is free, though the food is at spring training prices. Avoid that and enjoy a nice restaurant or place to eat in downtown Scottsdale.
The Arizona Hall of Fame is located on the concourse of Scottsdale Stadium. Plaques are on the wall of the main concourse near the bathrooms on the first base side. There’s a lot of great baseball history on that wall.
The Scorpions’ long history is also evident in the Hall of Fame banners hanging in right field above the bullpen. Nomar Garciaparra, Dusty Baker, Shawn Green, Troy Percival, Terry Francona, Albert Pujols, and Dustin Pedroia all have their names displayed there.
For an AFL park, having two different craft beer stands is worth an extra mention.
For all the baseball purists or baseball nerds (as we’re sometimes called), an Arizona Fall League game is just the ticket for you. Scottsdale Stadium provides lots of baseball and sports history. If in town in Oct or Nov, be sure to stop by and take in nine innings.
For additional information on the Arizona Fall League, please review A Fan’s Guide to Arizona Fall League.
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Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
7380 East 2nd St
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Scottsdale Old Town
3131 N Scottsdale Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Courtyard Scottsdale Old Town
3311 North Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
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